Animation / Japon / 2006 / 1h51 / 35 mm / couleur / VOSTF
Black and White, nicknamed « the cats » for their agility, are both orphans. Growing up alone in the streets of Takara, they battle it out against rival gangs. Everything changes when a powerful yakuza, The Snake, decides to transform the city to his own ends. In order to do so, he must submit all the gangs to his will and eliminate the two children. Despite their close bond, Black and White go their separate ways...
“Amer béton distinguishes itself by its rigorous attention to dramatic tension, and a certain cruelty in the story. The characters – not only the two children – are defined in superb detail, whether it the policeman who aspires to be a social worker or the ageing villain who renounces his evil empire. (...) Amér béton is a brilliant and moving example of an art which has reached maturity.”
Thomas Sotinel, www.lemonde.fr
Production : Aniplex
screenplay : Anthony Weintraub d’après le manga éponyme de Taiyo Matsumoto
animation direction : Shojiro Nishimi
artistic direction : Shinji Kimura
sound : Mich Osias
editing : Mutsumi Takemiya
Michael Arias began his career in cinema working on the special effects and photography of Wes Craven’s Nightmare on Elm Street. He subsequently worked on the special effects of James Cameron’s The Abyss (1989) and Back to the Future III by Robert Zemeckis (1991). In 1996 he moved to Tokyo where he worked for various animation studios including the Ghilbi studio where he participated in the making of Hayao Miyazaki’s Princess Mononoké. This is the first feature-film he has directed, and is adapted from the eponymous manga comic book by Taiyo Matsumoto.